International irradiation congress

Related tags Irradiation Food irradiation

In response to the growing rise in concern for the safety of the
global food chain, the First World Congress on Food Irradiation is
to take place in the US next month.

In response to the growing rise in concern for the safety of the global food chain, the First World Congress on Food Irradiation is to take place in the US next month.

The event, which will be held at McCormick Place, Chicago, from 5 to 7 May, will present five keynote speakers discussing issues ranging from acceptance of irradiation to its commercial applications.

The programme will be looking in depth at acceptance of irradiation for one or more food products or classes of food in some 50 countries as well as commercial applications of food irradiation in over 30 countries and the increasing volume of food that is treated with irradiation methods.

Commercial irradiation of spices and dried vegetable seasonings will also be considered. Currently this is the most widely accepted application for irradiation and is being carried out in over 20 countries with global production approaching 100,000 metric tonnes per annum.

Another growing application, particularly in the US, is the irradiation of ground beef and tropical fruits which is being sold in increasing amounts at supermarket stores (over 5,000 in January 2003) all over the US.

Taking note of the key issues and developments, the First World Congress on Food Irradiation will attempt to examine and assess the future of food irradiation through a comprehensive programme examining: the global situation and outlook on the use of irradiation as a sanitary and phytosanitary treatment; major markets and market trends. It will also consider technological developments, looking in detail at irradiation facilities, new products, value addition, quality assurance and current investment opportunities.

Another key focus will be to identify current key trends within the industry. Food irradiation is increasingly accepted and applied as a sanitary and phytosanitary treatment for many types of food products. With pending further regulatory approvals of major food trading nations such as the US, Australia/New Zealand and the European Union, trade in commodities such as irradiated fresh fruits and vegetables, spices and dried vegetable seasonings, seafood, meat and poultry should increase significantly in the near future, the event organisers said.

Irradiation specialist also stated that several Asian, African and Latin American countries have already strengthened their regulatory infrastructure and are in a position to implement international trade in some irradiated food commodities immediately. The organisers say that the congress will focus on informing various national and regional and international food regulatory agencies and trade associations and their members of the benefits of irradiation.

The event itself is primarily aimed at growers, food producers and processors, shippers and packers, distributors, wholesalers, retailers, importers, exporters, food service, regulatory authorities related to sanitary and phytosanitary treatment for food, irradiation providers and equipment manufacturers, scientists and consumer organisations.

The congress will include a number of international experts who will be discussing how irradiation systems can be safely and efficiently implemented as a food safety and a quarantine measure to meet trade requirements.

The programme will also include the opportunity to meet representatives from companies such as Surebeam, who are currently leading providers of food irradiation technologies. Representatives will be present from other leading irradiation service providers, irradiated food producers, food processors, retailers, and companies which have already marketed their irradiated food. There will also be the opportunity to visit the premises of a Commercial Food Irradiator.

Organised by the National Food Safety and Toxicology Center, at the State University of Michigan, more details of the event can be obtained at the dedicated website​.

Related topics Processing & Packaging

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